Category Archives: Kegerator

Converted Ball Lock Kegs – $59.95 + Flat Rate Shipping

Converted Ball Lock Kegs

Keg Connection has put converted ball lock kegs on sale for $59.95.  That’s a savings of $20 per keg.

You get:

  • Ball lock keg converted from a pin lock keg – Ball Losts and a pull valve (manual release/ball lock style) lid.
  • Brand new ball lock posts
  • Brand new poppet valves
  • Brand new dip tube o-rings
  • Perfect for those that need the shorter height of the pin lock keg (22″) but prefer ball lock connections.
  • Keg Connection guarantees your satisfaction with this keg

This bundles with Keg Connection’s $7.95 Flat Rate Shipping.

Check it out – Here

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent Great Deals:

Kenmore 7 Cu Ft Deep Freeze – $164.99! Save… $125

img_searsfreezer

Kenmore’s 7 Cubic Ft Chest Freezer Model 12702 sells for $289.99.  It’s marked down $120 to $169.99.  Use promo/coupon code SEARS5OFF50 and another $5 comes off.  That makes the total price $164.99.  The last time this appeared on HBF it was selling for $189.99 with sale and promo code.  The current deal beats that by $25.  In store pickup is free.  This is a great deal!

Use to put together a kegerator (see tips and gear below) or for fermentation temperature control.

Check it out – Here

EDIT…. This has gone up to $199.  KMART has it for $189.99 – Here – PROMO Code KMART10PSAVINGS drops it to $170.99.  In store pickup is free.  Thanks to commenter Keith for pointing this out!

Related: Brand New, NSF Certified 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs… $75

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent Great Deals:

Temperature Probe Placement – To Immerse or Not To Immerse?

Kegerator Temperature Probe Placement

After my last test on the effects of a recirculating fan on kegerator temperatures (See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan), I decided to test the effects of kegerator temperature probe placement.  I went with three configurations: Immersed vs Ambient Non-Immersed vs… Zip Tied to a Beer Can.  Those tests yielded some interesting findings.

Test 1 Zip Tied to a Beer Can:

cln_img_5553For this test, the probe was zip-tied to a 14.9 Ounce Can of Beamish Irish Stout.  This is the technique I’ve used for years.  At the time, I wanted something with some mass to help regulate temperature and I didn’t want to have to mess with submerging the probe and the required container of liquid.  For this test, the can was placed close to the wall of my keezer on the compressor hump.  The second probe was immersed in 500 mL of water in a Lab Container.  See the picture in test 2 for more info on placement.

cln_ziptiedI also placed a ChefAlarm Thermometer & Timer in my keezer – Hands on Review – as another point of reference, giving me an ambient temperature reading.  The ChefAlarm has some great features, including high and low temperature logging.  Those highs and lows are what I used as a reference.

cln_1ziptiedcanHere are the temperature results for test 1 – zip tied to a can.  The top shows the temperature probe zip tied to a beer can.  The bottom, for comparison, shows an immersed temperature probe.  This method produces and nice clean and reliable reading.

Definitions:

  • High Temp: High temperature in deg F as measured by the primary/controlling probe.
  • Low Temp: Low temperature in deg F as measured by the primary/controlling probe.
  • Variance High to Low:  The variance in deg F between general high and low readings from the primary probe.
  • Cycle Length: Overall length of one typical cooling cycle, measured from high point to high point.
  • ChefAlarm High: Ambient temperature high in deg F as recorded by my ChefAlarm
  • ChefAlarm Low: Ambient temperature low in deg F as recorded by my ChefAlarm
  • ChefAlarm Variance: Variance in deg F between high and low ChefAlarm readings
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: Estimated time that the freezer is running as measured from one high to the following low.
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day:  Estimation of how long my freezer would run in 24 hours based on frequency of cycles and freezer cycle time.

Results Test 1:

  • High Temp: 40.03
  • Low Temp: 37.64
  • Variance High to Low: 2.39
  • Cycle Length: 1 Hour 2 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 42
  • ChefAlarm Low: 34
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 8 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 12 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 4.6

Test 2 Submerged Probe:

cln_img_5520Setup: I placed the probe immersed in about 500 mL of water one of my Bel-Art Scienceware 500 mL Polypropylene Lab Containers.  I covered the top with aluminum foil.  I have used these containers since 2011 for a bunch of things including yeast rehydration water (see tips page, tip #1), sample storage and more.  That container was placed in about the same spot as the can used it test 1.  Also Pictured: Eva Dry E-500Hands on Review – to handle kegerator condensation.

cln_2submergedHere are the temperature results for test 2 – immersed.  The top shows the immersed temperature probe.  The bottom, for comparison, shows the probe zip tied to a beer can.  Notice the stuttered temperature changes toward the bottom of this cycle.  It doesn’t happen every cycle, but periodically, it also comes close to flat lining.  That period of flat lining can last up to 18 minutes.  The mass of the water makes temperature readings inefficient.  That’s what we want to some degree.  We want some sort of a buffer to give a good representation of temperature without quick swings.  However the stuttering temperature changes along with flat lining, make me think that this method has it’s drawbacks.

Results Test 2:

  • High Temp: 40.19
  • Low Temp: 36.76
  • Variance High to Low: 3.46
  • Cycle Length: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 43
  • ChefAlarm Low: 30
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 13 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 25 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 5

Test 3 Ambient Non-Submerged Probe:

cln_3ambientwithandwithoutfan

Here are the temperature results for test 3 – ambient, non-submerged.  The top of this graph shows the ambient probe, the bottom, for comparison, shows a probe zip tied to a beer can.  The left most portion of the graph is part of a previous test, disregard that.  The middle portion shows the ambient non-submersed probe with a recirculating fan.  By the way… all previous tests were completed with a fan.  The right portion shows the same test, without the fan.  I’m not reporting those results here.  That test was much as you would expect it to be.  Similar to the fan test, with larger swings and slower cycles.  Thoughts… I was actually impressed with the consistency of the ambient air results.  When I first looked at the graph, I noticed the semi-wild start of the test and I thought… here we go… this one is going to be all over the place.  However, when it settled in, it was very reliable.  It also has good accuracy.  The difference between the zip tied readings and the ambient readings are small.  The downside of this method is how often the freezer kicks on.  This method had the shortest cycle length, by far, at just 27 minutes.  It also had the highest estimated freezer utilization at 5.3 hours per day.

Results Test 3:

  • High Temp: 40.01
  • Low Temp: 36.39
  • Variance High to Low: 3.62
  • Cycle Length: 27 Minutes
  • ChefAlarm High: 39
  • ChefAlarm Low: 35
  • ChefAlarm Variance: 4 degrees
  • Estimated Freezer Cycle Time: 6 Minutes
  • Estimated Freezer Time: Hours Per Day: 5.3

Overall Results:

Here side by side comparisons of key metrics…

img_comparisons1

The submerged test produced the longest cycle length, by far.  Nearly twice as long as the zip tie test and four times the length of the ambient test.  It had middle of the road temp variances (compared to zip tied) but it’s ChefAlarm (ambient air) test showed a whopping 13 degrees difference.  Those swings are the result of how much time the freezer has to stay on to overcome the mass of the water used in the immersed test.  That mass also causes inconsistent temperature readings and periods of flat lining.

The ambient test produced good accuracy (second best variance and best ChefAlarm ambient air varience) but the short cycle length of 27 minutes means your freezer is kicking on a lot.  That shows up in the estimated freezer hours per day… 5.3 hours, the highest of any method.

I think the zip-tied can approach provides a good middle of the road solution.  It provides the best accuracy, based on it’s 2.39 degree temp variance, has a middle of the road overall cycle length, middle of the road freezer run time and uses the least amount of energy with an estimated 4.6 hours of freezer run time per day.  The can also offers the benefit of not having to mess with containers of water or other liquids.  It’s also easy to move and reposition when cleaning or reconfiguring your kegerator.

Related:

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent Great Deals:

Some Additional Notes: These tests are with my equipment.  Your results will vary based on a lot of factors including freezer/refrigerator, temp controller, amount of liquid used, probe placement, etc.  In spite of those variances, I think these tests give you a good general idea about probe placement.  I used a BrewBit Model T, sourced via Kickstarter, to log temperature.  Look for a review of the BrewBit Model T here, if and (hopefully) when it becomes readily available to purchase.

toppost:probeplacement

Tip: Checking for Gas QD Poppet CO2 Leaks

CO2 Pressure Gauge

For the most part, checking for keg Liquid and CO2 leaks is pretty straightforward.  Is beer leaking?  Then you’ve got a liquid leak.  That one’s really easy to spot.  If beer is shooting out like a geyser, you’ve got a… fast leak. :)  For gas, you spray the keg down with Star San or soapy water and check for bubbles.  Pretty easy.

One of the more difficult spots to check is an engaged gas QD.  Testing at this point using the spray bottle method is impossible (or at the very least difficult and messy).  Leaks will only surface here when a gas QD is connected.  The problem is, you can’t easily get to or see that area with a QD on.  I have had people suggest immersing the entire gas QD in Star San.  I’ve been told that leaks will produce bubbles and you will be able to see them.  That just doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  I don’t really want to soak my gas QD in Star San.  I’m also concerned that I won’t get enough Star San in the mix to create bubbles that I can see.

I use a pressure gauge to do this check.  I remove the gas line and put a pressure gauge on the keg.  Then I use a China Marker (easy to remove wax) to mark the pressure and wait overnight.  If the pressure doesn’t drop, the keg is leak free.  It’s worth noting that if the beer is still carbonating the pressure may drop as part of the carbonation process.  If that’s what’s going on with your beer, just leave the pressure gauge on the keg longer until it levels off.  If it keeps dropping, there is a leak.  If it levels off and stays, you’re leak free.

Another option is to attach only one keg to your regulator and turn of the the CO2 tank.  This allows you to use the low pressure gauge to monitor the keg.  The benefit of this method is that you’re testing everything – line, manifold, QD, o-ring and keg.  The downside is you’re taking other kegs offline.

I’m not suggesting this as a replacement for the Star San spray method.  I use it as a complement to that to check an otherwise difficult to check spot.  I use the spray method when I keg a beer and use the pressure gauge method periodically or if I otherwise suspect a problem.

I’m also quick to replace o-rings, especially on the gas side.  I have a couple full tanks of CO2 to a bad gas post oring.  These typically cost just pennies (See: Bulk Keg Orings and Keg Repair Part Numbers).  I would much rather be safe that sorry when it comes to the time, cost and inconvenience of replacing an empty CO2 tank.

Related:

Keg O-Rings: Dip Tube – Silicone · Post – Silicone · Lid – Silicone

Also: Keg Repair Part Numbers

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent Great Deals:

toppost:kegleaks

Hands On: Eva Dry E-500 with Kegerator Condensation Trial

eva dry 500 kegerator condensation review

I have a converted chest freezer kegerator that (years ago) was building up with condensation.  Literally, standing water.  At that point, I had not added a collar, so it’s not like it was a major air leak.  The seal was factory tight.

I looked for solutions and finally settled on the  Eva-dry E-500.  This uses a renewable desiccant material.

The beads inside this unit absorb moisture.  As they do that they change color.  When they have gone from blue to pink, you know it’s time to “renew” the unit.  This is done by removing it from the kegerator and plugging it into an outlet.  The integrated heating element drives off any built up moisture.  When the beads turn blue (overnight), you’re ready to go.  I don’t have to do this often, usually every couple months.

Back of the Eva Dry E-500

Absorbs Excess Moisture.  No batteries or wires required.  Easily regenerated.  No messy spills or refills.  Environmentally safe.  100% renewable.  Ultra space saving.

CE and UL Listed

Bottom of the unit.  This flips out when it’s time to recharge.  It lays flat during normal operation.

Close up on the freshly recharged desiccant beads

Stock photo

Trial:
I recharged this unit on June 22.  I’ve known that this works, but I wanted to put some numbers to it.  Pictures and testing were completed in my collared deep freezer based kegerator.

I checked this around once per week.  Here is a picture of what I would call the first significant signs of moisture build up.  This was taken on August 10th.  That’s 49 days into the test.

Here’s what the beads looked like on August 10th.  The beads are what I would call and translucent pink-ish.  I left the unit in place for another week to see what would happen with moisture content.  It predictability… continued to get worse.  On the 18th, I recharged the unit and wiped down the inside of my kegerator to test conditions without the Eva Dry in place.

This picture was taken 8 days later at my first weekly test.  This is what I would call a similar level of moisture after only 8 days vs 49 days with the Eva Dry.  I have no doubt that water would end up pooling in the bottom of my kegerator, in relatively short order, without the Eva Dry in place.

I took the final weight of these on 8-17.  My Escali Primo has it coming in at 876 grams.

And again the next day after recharging.  It came in at 772 grams.  A full 104 grams of water was driven off during recharging.

Using my Top Find Fast Weigh MS-500-BLK I measured out right at 104 grams.  I used the tare feature so this is actually 104 grams of water.  It nearly fills a taster glass.  This represents what the Eva Dry absorbed.

I’ve had this same unit since October of 2008.  This trial took place around August of 2013.  As of this edit (March 2015), this unit is about 6 and 1/2 years old.  Other than a slightly curling label, this looks like new and it certainly works like new.

The Eva-Dry E-500 has kept my kegerator dry for years.  It is a Top Find and I’m glad to have it!

Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifer

This is a Top Find!

Also Consider: Lightning Deals

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent Amazon Finds:

review:evadry500

Complete Pin Lock Kegging System $194.99 Shipped

Basic Homebrew Draft System - Pin Lock KEG400G

Product Description – Here.  Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

Includes…

Basic Homebrew Draft System – Pin Lock KEG400G – $184.99 + Free Shipping

Availability: This is a More Beer Deal of the Day.  Quantities are limited. Check the Deal of the Day section Here - to see if this is still available.

Also Consider: All Sale and Clearance Items

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent More Beer Finds:

More Beer Picks:

Update: Deals on Kegging System, 3 Gallon Kegs, Fermenters and More

Update: The Stainless Steel March Pump has sold out.  The remainder of these sale items are available as of this posting.

3 Gallon Cornelius Style Pin Lock Keg (Used)3 Gallon Used Pin Lock Keg
Pressure tested three gallon, stainless steel, cornelius style tank. These PIN LOCK tanks are guaranteed to hold pressure.

On Sale: $39.99
Retail: $59.99

Check it out – Here

Kegging System

5 Gallon Economy Ball Lock Keg System
A great way to get introduced to kegging. Our Economy Kegging System is a set up with just the basics. It comes with a new AIH 5 gallon keg
On Sale: $139.99
Retail: $159.99
25″ tall / 8-1/2″ diameter

Check it out – Here

Hard Lemon Lime PreOrder

Pre-Order Before March 25th- Only Available for a Limited time

Hard Pink Lemonade has flavors of freshly squeezed lemons that make for a classic taste of pink lemonade with a kick. Cocktails are a great compliment to summertime BBQ’s which is why this Island Mist kit will be made available prior to Spring 2015, just in time for patio season.
On Sale: $64.99
Retail: $75.00
FREE SHIPPING on Hard Pink Lemonade or Hard Limeade*

Check them out – Here

March 815 Stainless Steel Beer Pump
March 815 Stainless Steel Beer Pump
American manufactured seal-less centrifugal magnetic drive pump ideal for home brewing.
On Sale: $169.99
Retail: $259.99
The 815-SS Beer Pump is designed to pump hot water and hot wort.

Check it out – Here – EDIT: Sold Out

PET Carboy

5 Gallon Plastic Carboy
Our PET Carboys are durable. They are made of a polyethylene terephthalate copolymer (PET) plastic. Ther are very difficult to break. They are also light weight and easy to clean.
On Sale: $15.99
Retail: $19.99

Check it out – Here

Also Consider: All Current Sale Items

Pinned: 11 Gal Kettle · ITC-1000 Temp Controller! · Thermapen · Discount BoilCoil

Recent AIH Finds: